In line with the PDCA SCIO constitution, we are required to hold an AGM of members - that is the PDCA committee members. Any resident of Tynewater or any organisation that uses the hall may become a member on application to the trustees. In line with previous practice, the trustees of the hall publish the date of the AGM 14 days in advance to also allow any residents or other hall users to attend as well as the members.
Due to current restrictions the members are meeting electronically. Such virtual meetings and a virtual AGM are allowed under our constitution. To allow residents to participate in the AGM, the Trustees have agreed to publish the AGM business and reports online. If residents wish to comment on any matters they should contact a member of the trustees or committee, or email them here before the end of October.
In line with the constitution, the business of the AGM must include:
a review of the minutes of the previous year's AGM; (please see below)
a report by the chair on the activities of the organisation; (please see below)
consideration of the annual accounts of the organisation; (please see below)
the election/re-election of charity trustees;
All current members have agreed to continue for the coming year.
The trustees/office bearers have agreed to stand again as follows:
· Neil Dumbleton Chair
· Michael Johnstone Secretary
· Brain Christie Treasurer
The committee of members have re-elected the trustees as the named office bearers. The committee of members have approved the 2019 minutes, the accounts and the chairman's report. The trustees and committee will meet in early November to review and if necessary take onboard any comment from residents or users. A written or public response as appropriate will be given to any comments received. The final chair's report and audited accounts will then be resubmitted to the committee for approval and then submitted to OSCR, The Scottish Charity Regulator.
Managing and maintaining the Hall can sometimes take a bit of effort, but the committee have fun doing it. We try to arrange as many varied events as possible and other events are organised by groups who use the hall. If you would like to see other events in the hall or in the village, then why not join the committee, even part time.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Hand sanitising stations and new procedures are the new normal
The committee painting the foyer to compliment the hall and toilet refurbishment
The freshly painted hall being used for the new Thursday Market
Chairman's 2020 Report
As with any organisation, 2020 has not turned out the way we expected it to. While the hall has been through a period of enforced closure, which might have become permanent, there is now much to be positive about. We have completed a notable refurbishment of the hall facilities & have modernized our governance procedures. These, together with a grant & loan, have helped us re-commission the hall & open it in a safe manner. The purpose of the PDCA is to support the health & welfare of the residents & the committee believes it is important that the hall is open at this time for as many activities as restrictions allow. We have also looked to adapt to deliver support to the residents in new ways.
Finances At the start of the year we received a £2000 grant from Robertson Trust to paint the main hall & as we had been operating in profit, we felt able to spend some of our reserves to refurbish all the toilets. This refurbishment was supported with additional money from the PSSC & Pathhead Players. We believe that this was the right thing to do, although it subsequently meant there was pressure on our finances when we came to reopen.
During closure, the hall continued to incur costs, but with little income. Re-commissioning the hall was expected to be expensive because we had to comply with additional guidelines & address matters arising from closure. Buying PPE & additional cleaning supplies was & remains costly. It is fair to say that we might not have been able to reopen had we not obtained a £10,000 grant from Midlothian Council & a Bounce Back Loan of £3000 from the Bank.
The loan will have to be repaid, but the hall finances are in the black. The grant & loan provide a financial cushion for our current operation, so the committee felt it appropriate to "pass some of this on". We have therefore, reduced the cost of hires or provided periods of free hire to users. The hall exists to support the residents, not just to make a profit. The hall does now have some income and the trustees will continue to monitor spend & review contracts to ensure it remains viable. We will also look to further support long term users when they return.
Building Maintenance We decided to have the toilets professionally refurbished as some of the facilities were broken & the old décor made them difficult to clean. The main body of the hall was also professionally painted & the committee painted the toilets, lobby & other areas to complement this. The committee put in a lot of effort painting & sorting out issues including fixing the sagging floor. It is not an underestimate to say this work collectively saved us tens of thousands of pounds. The porch roof was repaired & we are glad to report that this & other professional maintenance work was done where possible by local tradespeople.
The hall is now an impressive venue to hire & we have looked to make it more attractive by upgrading the wifi. This has allowed us to put on live streaming concerts from local musicians as lockdown relaxation allowed. We intend to expand this wifi system further to provide safe & secure internet access throughout the hall. We also inherited a new PA system & new hall speakers that are available for general use.
We completed our usual health & safety check prior to lockdown & had resolved most of the issues that inevitably arise. Some equipment checks were delayed by lockdown but have all now been completed. Additional gas testing, fixed electrical testing, pest control & Legionnaire's disease testing and multiple health and safety reviews were also required. All safety tests have been passed.
Maintaining the hall does not stop, e.g. some further remedial work is required on the porch. We hope to instigate a project to upgrade the dayroom in early 2021 to create a café atmosphere for the return of the PYP & to support activities such as the Horti' & the vegetable/farmers market.
Activities and Events In October 2019 we worked with Midlothian Council to host 3 events in the Midlothian Science festival: A Science of the Circus Show, An Astronomy Night & Ice Cream Making. The last 2 were hosted in the PSSC & showed the possibility of making use of the bar area for similar events in future. Our film presentations in 2019 were enjoyed, but we have always struggled to get people to attend. This is disappointing as the big screen experience is really delivered in the hall. We will revisit this in 2021.
Christmas 2019 & New Year were very busy times for the hall. We had good attendance at the Cool Yule and at the excellent Pathhead Players Panto. The Children's Xmas Party & Family Ceilidh were sold out. The Pathhead Choir organised a very successful combined concert & craft fair. The PDCA own the unused phone box, so in December it was used to host "Advent in the Box". Local groups & individuals recorded messages in or at The Box, which were then posted to Facebook for each day of Advent. We will look to develop use of The Box next year.
Following the relaxation of lockdown we have had various musicians live streaming from the hall which has built up quite a following. On the back of this, the hall featured in the Edinburgh International Online Jazz Festival when the hall hosted Playtime Jazz to an international audience. This spawned an album as well: "Playtime Live at the Village Hall". This is a new exciting direction for us supported by our new wifi.
Sadly most of our regular users & village stalwart events have not been able to use the hall this year & may not return until next year. The Pathedibles Vegetable Market, which started outside during lockdown, operates in the hall on Thursdays. This is an asset to the village & we hope will expand into a farmers market. We also have a highland dancing school using the hall & and a Metafit class is due to start. While these may be temporary, we are glad to support them.
Organisational Matters Our health & safety review was less problematic this year with many previous actions dealt with & because we have a firm process in place. Based on this, the trustees decided to carry out a review of all of our governance procedures in line with our constitution, with guidance from Midlothian Voluntary Action & using the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisation's Keystone governance toolkit. This involved notable effort in producing a number of updated policies & procedures, but does move us forward in line with best practice. We are in the process of signing off these policies within the committee & will update our website soon.
This review of procedures did prove to be of benefit for re-opening the hall after lockdown. We were able to use what we had learned & guidance from the government & other bodies to adapt our new procures to create a Covid-secure environment for reopening the hall. I am happy that everyone including the committee, PSSC Committee, our hall users & attendees have all been very supportive of this. I am especially grateful to our cleaner & caretaker Jean for her support & effort which has been a vital element of keeping the hall open.
Other interests During lockdown the village set up the Tynewater Mutual Aid Network (TYMAN) to support vulnerable villagers with shopping & prescriptions. The PDCA email & communication network was used to support running of the TYMAN in a safe & secure manner. This was a big asset to the village in this time of crisis. Prior to lockdown there were also tentative discussions with residents about setting up the Tynewater Environmental Network. This would be a local group to promote recycling, re-use & reduction of waste. Sadly this has not been able to progress, but is a work in progress for the future.
During lockdown the local bus service was suspended which adversely impacted a lot of residents. It was further taken away again due to the A68 road collapse & subsequently only a much reduced & unsuitable service has been reinstated. The committee has taken the matter up with the council and bus company to try and ensure a suitable bus service is put back. This is vital for the health & wellbeing of residents. While our intervention has helped improved the alternative Ring & Go Service, we continue push for the return of a service to support those who travel to Edinburgh for work.
We should note that the Pathhead Youth Project have raised money to buy & install 2 defibrillators in the village. This was a great effort by all involved. We are in the process of installing one of these outside the hall next to the entrance.
Committee At the last AGM, I signalled my intention to resign the chair. In the autumn & early spring we operated a revolving chair with different people chairing meetings. During lockdown however, I thought it appropriate to resume as chair to support the hall through re-opening. I will continue for now & review the situation next year.
This year we have looked to forge closer links with the Community Council & I would like to thank Henry Gibson for his support during many interesting challenges.
I was going to highlight the many notable individual efforts of the trustees & committee this year, however everyone has gone above & beyond so I shall just thank them all collectively. Without their efforts at painting, sorting out, mending, reviewing documents & administration, it is clear the hall would not be the attractive venue it is. Additionally without them, I don't think the hall would be open now.
Neil Dumbleton, PDCA scio Chair, October 2020